Friday Morning Applesauce: Johan Still Pain Free, Koufax Working With Parnell

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 07: Ramon Ramirez #52 of the New York Mets pitches during a game against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium on March 7, 2012 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

The Mets and Minnows played again yesterday, with Kevin, Keith and Ron in the booth. This one wasn't highlighted by pitching the way the last game was, as both starters struggled and gave up early runs. The Mets would eventually lose the game 5-4 as Hanley Ramirez homered off of Frank Francisco to seal the deal for the Marlins. The box score can be found here.

Howard Megdal has more on Mike Pelfrey over at Capital NY. It's certainly worth questioning just how much the Omar Minaya/shirtless wonder fast track development system hurt the eventual ceiling of big Pelf. While there was little reason to think Pelfrey was going to have success yesterday throwing the same pitch over and over it does make you wonder just how bad it has been in bullpen sessions that Dan Warthen thought he needed to throw it exclusively.

Another pitcher came out of yesterday's game with more things to focus on improving. Frank Francisco is pretty easy to steal on. That's not really a great thing to see from a high leverage reliever. Because of that, the Mets know they need to work with Francisco on his holding of runners. At least we're aware of the issue, but I just hope it doesn't become a distraction that keeps our new closer from having his stuff adequately prepared.

The Mets were quietly trying out another reliever yesterday. CJ Nitkowski was throwing in camp and could well be another cheap attempt to find something on the scrap heap. As a sidearming lefty, you could reasonably envision seeing the veteran reliever actually fill a valuable role with this ballclub.

Mets Dodgers (they're the same thing to the Wilpons anyway) legend Sandy Koufax was in camp working with our pitching staff again yesterday. This time Koufax was working with flamethrowing Bobby Parnell. They didn't seem to make any sort of drastic changes, they more chatted about pitching in general. Koufax also mentioned chatting briefly with the Johan while he was in camp. Johan still appears to be pain free, and that could well be the biggest development of all of them this spring.

Finally in Mets news for today, MLBPA director Michael Weiner had a few comments about the Wilpons. I can't imagine he'd actually have much negative to say about them, what other owners have been as willing as they were to foolishly spend ridiculous amounts of money over the years?

Around MLB

There's a few other odds and ends happening around the majors. First, Carlos Guillen decided to retire earlier this spring. Minor League Ball took a look back at how he was viewed when he was a prospect for us.

A player who hasn't officially retired but remains unsigned is Derrek Lee. FanGraphs takes a look at whether or not a club would be wise to sign the aging slugger.

David Price was one of the best pitchers in baseball last year. The Rays may have a bit of a concern as he suffered from some neck spasms as he was toweling off yesterday.

The Rangers have an Endy sized hole in the center of their outfield. Clearly the players battling it out to replace him in this year's opening day lineup have their work cut out for them.

And finally there may be some (more than usual) reason to panic for Royals fans. Jonathon Sanchez appears to have some issues regaining his velocity. I seem to remember the same thing happening to a certain 36 million dollar man right before he completely imploded. Here's hoping Sanchez returns to form, as I'd really like to see a good Royals team again someday soon.

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